Workers compensation insurance is required by state law for most employers. Workers’ compensation insurance was established to provide specific benefits to workers injured out of and in the course of their work and to provide employers with a protection from civil suit for work related injuries.

Coverage Requirements

As a general rule, a business with more than two employees is required to carry workers’ compensation coverage. An employee is viewed broadly under workers’ compensation law and includes part-time, seasonal and temporary workers, minors, trainees, immigrants and working family members.

For a contractor or other business that hires subcontractors to assist in their trade, business or to complete a contract, the subcontractors’ employees are included when counting the total number of employees to assess when coverage is required. If the total of the contractor’s employees plus the sum total of subcontractors’ employees is more than two, then coverage is required. This requirement applies regardless of whether the subcontractor has their own workers’ compensation coverage. For additional contractor information read the Contractor Information Sheet. An employer that is not required to carry coverage under the law may obtain coverage voluntarily.

Across State Lines

Virginia requires Virginia coverage for work performed in Virginia, even temporary work. Virginia does not have reciprocity with any other states. Most employers with coverage based out of state can obtain proper Virginia coverage with the addition of a Virginia endorsement on the existing policy adding Virginia to item 3A of the policy. Virginia listing under item 3C of the policy is not sufficient.

No Waiver

Virginia does not provide a waiver or exemption form for a sole proprietor or other business that is not required to carry coverage under the Act.


An employer may insure for workers’ compensation through a commercial insurer, self-insurance, a group self-insurance association or through a professional employer organization. Commercial insurance is not available through the Commission. It is available through an insurance agent or carrier.

Officer Exclusions

An executive officer may reject coverage under the Act with proper notice to the employer and the Commission. For additional information see Officer Exclusion Information.

Employer Duties

Every employer shall keep a record of all injuries or deaths of its employees which occur in the course of employment. An employer should educate employees on injury reporting before an injury occurs and should immediately notify its insurer upon notice of an injury. Employers subject to the Act must also conspicuously post a workers’ compensation notice (Spanish Version)) indicating their compliance with the Act.

Dual Regulation

Workers’ compensation insurance is under dual regulation in Virginia. The Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission oversees the Act and coverage compliance. To contact the Insurance Department phone: (804) 205-3586 or email: vwcinsurance@workcomp.virginia.gov.

The Bureau of Insurance oversees insurance regulation related to premium, pricing, rates and audits. To contact the Bureau phone (804) 371-9185 or email: bureauofinsurance@scc.virginia.gov.

The Commission is only able to respond via email in English. If you would like further assistance related to Insurance inquiries, please contact 804-205-3586.

La Comisión solo puede responder por correo electrónico en inglés. Si desea obtener más ayuda relacionada con consultas sobre seguros, comuníquese al 804-205-3586.